I will provide details once I review the responses, but I believe my issue is fairly straightforward. In essence, I am looking for an attorney to review a civil settlement agreement. I was the defendant in a civil case and lost in trial. A judgement has not yet been entered; however,I was able to negotiate a settlement with the plaintiff which includes a lump sum payment. The plaintiff drafted a settlement agreement and I would like to have a Florida attorney review the document and provide comments to make sure that the plaintiff can not enter the judgement, domesticate it to my current state, and "come after me" once the lump sum payment has been sent. My previous attorney has been MIA since the trial and I need a fresh set of eyes to review the settlement documents for a fixed fee.Plaintiff has sent me draft settlement with sections on General Release of Claims, Indemnity Agreement, Dismissal with Prejudice (which will be signed and notarized), as well as a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal with Prejudice and an Order of Voluntary Dismissal (both for the Court). However, the timeline for these documents has been agreed via email and is not listed in the settlement documents. Should this timeline be in the settlement or another notarized document? (ie. once agreed amount is received, plaintiff has X days to file court documents...)
No matter who you hire to assist you, the key thing is to make sure that the plaintiff files a satisfaction of judgment after you fulfill your end of the bargain. That is the instrument which will "kill" his judgment. Otherwise, he can really screw you by taking your payment and then moving forward with the judgment after you leave Florida. He probably won't get too far with this move, but it will cost you time and money to clobber him if he tries it. It makes more sense to do it right from the get go. Good luck.
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Any of the Florida attorneys here could help you out on this, however this Q&A forum is a place for answering questions and not for soliciting an attorney or for us to take on an engagement, as Avvo's rules prohibit us from doing so. The point you've been given on ensuring that a satisfaction of judgment is filed is crucial. And having proper release language in the settlement agreement is also important. If you like an attorney who answered you, you can go to that person's profile for contact information or you can look for someone under the Find a Lawyer tab.
Please note: This answer is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice. Such professional advice requires full disclosure to an attorney of a client’s circumstances and that attorney’s opportunity to analyze those circumstances against applicable law.
You need a litigation/ trial attorney. The settlement should include a satisfaction of judgment and a release from all future claims, including those for attorneys fees. There is not much more I can tell you without more information, however, it is not a terribly difficult task.
Any competent trial lawyer can help you on this. The bigger issue is the value associated with your 'fixed fee" as you are asking a lawyer to accept a lot of legal liability with little or no information and potentially serious financial restraints in providing a proper review of the situation, the document and the details. You're best bet is to make up with your existing lawyer as I suspect he is MIA over some rift related to your loss at trial, as "fresh eyes" are always more useful as a supplement to make sure the other lawyer didn't miss anything as opposed to having to get a handle on the issue from scratch for scratch.
You just need to interview a few lawyers and get some fees quoted. Look for an attorney with litigation experience. There are plenty of qualified lawyers in Tampa. It shouldn't cost a fortune to have a settlement agreement reviewed. Best of luck.
Although I am happy to give my opinion freely based on my knowledge, experience, and training as a personal injury attorney, the opinions I give in response to questions posed on AVVO should not be construed as legal advice and should not be relied on to make legal decisions.
The missing details you mentioned should be in the agreement. You ought to be able to find a lawyer to give you a written opinion regarding the agreement for payment of 1 to 2 hours of time.
This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client relationship is intended to be formed.
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